Surrey, England (SportsNetwork.com) - Francesco Molinari posted a 3-under 69 in Friday's second round and he remained alone atop the leaderboard at the BMW PGA Championship.
Molinari finished 36 holes at 10-under-par 134. He is looking for his first win on the European Tour since the 2012 Open de Espana.
"It's a good score. Obviously, I'm delighted to have gone a little bit further under-par from yesterday and just need to keep doing the same," Molinari said. "I know how hard I've been working the last few months, so it's nice to see that it's paying off on the course."
Byeong Hun An fired an 8-under 64 to match Graeme Storm for the low round of the day at Wentworth. An ended two rounds at minus-9.
Emiliano Grillo (65) and Thongchai Jaidee (66) are one stroke further back at 8-under-par 136. James Morrison stands alone in fifth at minus-7.
Miguel Angel Jimenez (70), the 2008 champ, and Robert Karlsson (71) share sixth at 6-under 138, while three players are tied for eighth at minus-5.
World No. 1 and last year's winner Rory McIlroy struggled to a 6-over 78. He ended at 5-over-par 149 and missed the cut by four strokes. McIlroy missed the cut for the third time in four years at this tournament.
McIlroy found a fairway bunker off the third tee and hit the lip with his second. His third found more sand and he scrambled for bogey from there. Another poor bunker shot at the sixth led to another bogey.
At the eighth, McIlroy collected his first birdie from six feet out. He missed a short par putt at 10, then hit his drive way left at 11. His ball was found, but he took an unplayable lie penalty and that led to a double-bogey.
McIlroy bogeyed the 13th for the second straight day, then wrapped bogeys at 16 and 18 around a birdie at 17.
"I'm not going to read too much into it. I'm sort of back to my usual at Wentworth. It wasn't great before I won last year and it hasn't been great after," McIlroy said. "Any time you're defending a title, you want to come back and give it a valiant effort. This week wasn't really that. A little disappointed I'm not going to be here for the weekend."
Molinari stumbled out of the gate. He found sand at the first and that led to a bogey. He faltered to another bogey on No. 3 and that dropped him into a share of the lead with Karlsson. Molinari came right back with a birdie at the fourth.
The Italian rolled in a 20-footer for birdie at six to get back to even-par for his round. He followed that gain with seven consecutive pars.
Molinari's tee shot at the par-3 14th stopped inside a foot and he kicked that in for birdie. After a pair of pars, Molinari drained a 6-foot birdie try at 17. He closed with a 2-putt birdie at the par-5 18th.
An poured in four straight birdies from the second to soar to 5-under par. He also birdied the seventh. Around the turn, the 2009 U.S. Amateur winner birdied the 10th and 12th to move within two of the lead. After four pars in a row, An birdied the 17th to get within one. He parred the last to end there.
"That was definitely one of my best. I hit 17 greens. I hit it really solid today. I didn't have any putts over 30 feet to be honest and every putt was a birdie chance," stated An. "Still missed a couple out there, but the score is pretty good."
NOTES: Molinari owns the 36-hole lead for the sixth time in his European Tour career ... He was also the second-round leader at this event in 2013 and finished tied for ninth ... Paul Lawrie and Craig Lee withdrew during the second round ... The cut fell at 1-over-par 145 with 76 players advancing to the weekend ... Joining McIlroy with the weekend off were 2004 champion Scott Drummond, Ross Fisher, Marcel Siem, 2006 winner David Howell, Mikko Ilonen, Thorbjorn Olesen, Rafael Cabrera-Bello and 2010 victor Simon Khan.